Amphibian trade and the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-ranging: dispersion in vicious circle?

Luis M. García-Feria, Dulce M. Brousset Hernández-Jauregui, David Vallejo Bravo, Roberto A. Cervantes Olivares

Abstract


The amphibian trade has an important role in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) persistence, for at least 28 amphibian species can serve as vectors. The objectives of this work are to evaluate the presence and prevalence of Bd in amphibian traded in two petshops in Mexico City, as well as to verify their presence in wild amphibian populations of species traded. It was found that 92% of amphibians sold in the two petshops were captured free-living, and 37.3% of these animals were infected with Bd, according to histological analysis. The prevalence of 30.8% of Bd in wild amphibians at the wild capture sites was detected by means of DNA amplification. No significant differences were found between prevalence of wild and trade amphibians, but the trend was higher for trade amphibians. The importance of amphibian management and conservation plans has been growing in the last years. The pet trade and its capture from the wild turn these trade routes and their captive management into means of pathogenic dispersion, which may increase the risk of disease outbreaks.

Keywords: Chytridiomycosis, pet trade, optical microscopy, nested PCR.


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